Protest over Dorset lollipop patrol cuts

Generic school crossing patrol
Image caption Dorset County Council is proposing to cut funding for school crossing patrols

Dozens of parents, schoolchildren and protesters against the cutting of 65 Dorset school crossing patrols have handed in a petition to the council.

A consultation over the Dorset County Council's plans to withdraw funding for all lollipop men and women will end in March 2012.

Funding for 10 of the patrols is due to end in July 2011.

Campaigners marched from Fairfield car park in Dorchester to County Hall from 1100 GMT.

The other 55 patrols are due to go in December.

The move is expected to save the local authority £200,000 a year in salary costs.

'Valuable job'

Weymouth parent Helen Toft, who organised the petition and the march, wants the service protected.

"The lollipop men and women do a really valuable job," she said.

The cuts are among a number of measures agreed by the Conservative-run council in December to help save £31.1m in 2011/12.

The council has extended the eight-month consultation by three months to give town and parish councils, schools and community groups time to find their own funding or to organise a volunteer service.

If alternative funding or volunteers are found, the council would remain responsible for the management, supervision and training for the service.

The savings proposal will be discussed at a budget setting meeting on Thursday 17 February.

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